Why is My Cat Foaming at the Mouth

icon May 29, 2023

Discovering that your beloved feline companion is foaming at the mouth can be a distressing experience for any cat owner. It is important to recognize that excessive salivation or foaming at the mouth in cats is not a normal occurrence and may indicate an underlying health issue. In this article, we will explore the potential causes of foaming at the mouth in cats, highlight when it is necessary to seek veterinary care, and discuss possible treatments.

Why is My Cat Foaming at the Mouth

Why is My Cat Foaming at the Mouth?

1. Dental Issues

Dental problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, or an abscessed tooth, can lead to pain and oral inflammation, resulting in drooling and foaming at the mouth. Cats with dental issues may also show signs of reluctance to eat or exhibit changes in their eating habits.

Read more: Mouth Inflammation and Ulcers in Cats

2. Seizures

During a seizure, cats may exhibit excessive salivation, drooling, and foaming at the mouth. 

During a seizure, cats may exhibit excessive salivation, drooling, and foaming at the mouth. Seizures in cats can manifest in various ways, and these symptoms can be a part of the seizure episode. Seizures, also known as epileptic episodes or convulsions, occur due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain. During a seizure, a cat may experience involuntary muscle contractions, loss of consciousness, twitching, convulsions, and various other symptoms.

Excessive salivation, drooling, and foaming at the mouth can be a result of muscle contractions affecting the muscles of the mouth and throat, or it may be due to stress and anxiety associated with the seizure.

3. Poisoning

If your cat is foaming at the mouth after flea treatment, it could indicate a reaction to the product. Foaming at the mouth can be a sign of oral irritation or discomfort. This is a sign of poisoning.

In such cases, it is important to take the following steps:

  • Wash off the product: If you suspect that the foaming is due to the flea treatment, immediately rinse the affected area with mild soap and water to remove any residual product. Be careful not to get water in your cat's ears, eyes, or nose.
  • Contact your veterinarian: It is crucial to reach out to your veterinarian as soon as possible and inform them about the situation. Describe the symptoms and let them know which flea treatment product you used. They will be able to provide guidance and advise you on the next steps to take.
  • Monitor your cat: Keep a close eye on your cat's overall behavior and health. Watch for any additional signs of distress, such as difficulty breathing, excessive drooling, vomiting, or changes in behavior. If you notice any concerning symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately or consider seeking emergency veterinary care.

In addition, household cleaners, plants, or chemicals, can cause excessive salivation and foaming at the mouth in cats.

Cat Foaming at the Mouth

4. Foreign Body Ingestion

Cats are naturally curious and may accidentally ingest foreign objects, such as string, hair ties, or small toys. When an object becomes lodged in the mouth or throat, it can cause discomfort, excessive drooling, and foaming at the mouth.

5. Oral Infections or Diseases

Infections, ulcers, or other oral diseases can cause mouth discomfort and increase saliva production, leading to foaming at the mouth. Conditions such as stomatitis, gingivitis, or oral tumors can contribute to these symptoms.

6. Gastrointestinal Issues

Foaming at the mouth may be due to certain gastrointestinal problems, such as gastritis or gastrointestinal obstruction, which can cause excessive drooling and foaming at the mouth. This may be accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, lethargy, hiding, and changes in appetite.

7. Heatstroke

Cats can overheat in hot environments, leading to heatstroke. Foaming at the mouth can be a symptom of this condition, along with other signs like panting, lethargy, and vomiting.

Cat Foaming at the Mouth But Acting Normal

If your cat is foaming at the mouth but otherwise acting normal, it may not be an immediate cause for alarm. However, it's still important to investigate the cause further. 

  • Cats may foam at the mouth after grooming themselves. This is usually due to ingesting their own saliva during the grooming process, which can cause temporary foaming. It's a normal behavior and not a cause for concern.
  • Cats may foam at the mouth if they come into contact with or ingest something that has a bitter taste or irritates their mouth, such as certain plants or cleaning agents. It could be a reaction to something they licked or explored.
  • Dental issues: Dental problems, such as gum disease, dental infections, or dental decay, can lead to excessive salivation and foaming at the mouth. It's worth checking your cat's oral health and consulting a veterinarian if you suspect dental issues.

When to Seek Veterinary Care

If you observe your cat foaming at the mouth, it is crucial to monitor their overall behavior and assess the severity of the symptoms. While occasional, minor drooling may not be an immediate cause for concern, the following situations warrant prompt veterinary attention:

  • Severe or Prolonged Foaming: If the foaming is excessive, persistent, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.
  • Difficulty Breathing or Swallowing: If your cat shows signs of respiratory distress, such as labored breathing or choking, or has difficulty swallowing, it may indicate a serious obstruction or emergency that requires immediate veterinary intervention.
  • Changes in Behavior or Appetite: If your cat's foaming at the mouth is accompanied by lethargy, loss of appetite, weight loss, or any other significant changes in behavior, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian to rule out underlying medical conditions.


Depending on the suspected cause, the veterinarian may recommend various diagnostic tests, such as:

Blood tests: Bloodwork can help identify any underlying health issues, such as organ dysfunction or abnormalities in blood chemistry.
Imaging: X-rays or ultrasounds may be used to evaluate the internal organs and detect any abnormalities.
Dental examination: If dental problems are suspected, the veterinarian may conduct a dental examination to check for dental disease or injuries.
Allergy testing: If an allergic reaction is suspected, the veterinarian may recommend allergy testing to identify specific allergens.

What To Do When Cat is Foaming at the Mouth?

The appropriate treatment for foaming at the mouth will depend on the underlying cause. Upon visiting the veterinarian, they will conduct a thorough physical examination, take a detailed medical history, and potentially recommend additional diagnostic tests, such as blood work, X-rays, or dental examinations.

Dental Issues-If dental problems are causing the foaming, the veterinarian may recommend a dental cleaning, extraction of affected teeth, or treatment for oral infections. Pain medication and antibiotics may also be prescribed as part of the treatment plan.

Spray for Dog/ Cat Mouth Ulcers and Mouth Cleaning

  • Helps repair oral mucosa
  • Helps heal mouth wounds
  • Relieves pain, redness and swelling
  • Can be licked; safe and not irritating

Seizures- If seizures or neurological disorders are the underlying cause, the veterinarian may prescribe anticonvulsant medications to manage seizures. Treatment plans may vary depending on the specific diagnosis.

Puainta®Medicines for Epilepsy -Tablets

  • Applicable to encephalitis, brain damage, parasites, canine distemper sequela, poisoning, epilepsy caused by strong stimulation
  • Relieve convulsions caused by encephalitis, tetanus and strychnine poisoning

Related: Phenobarbital for Cats

Poisoning-If the foaming is due to ingesting a toxic substance, the veterinarian may induce vomiting or administer activated charcoal to help remove the toxin from the cat's system. Additional treatments, such as intravenous fluids and supportive care, may be necessary.

Foreign Body Ingestion-If a foreign object or irritant is causing the foaming, the veterinarian may need to remove the object under sedation or perform a thorough examination to identify and address the issue. Medication to reduce inflammation or irritation may also be prescribed.

Gastrointestinal Issues-Treatment for gastrointestinal problems may involve dietary changes, medications to reduce inflammation ( for example, anti-nausea medications) or alleviate symptoms, and management of any underlying conditions causing the issue. Intravenous fluids may be administered if dehydration is present.

Heatstroke- If heatstroke is the cause of foaming, the cat needs immediate cooling measures to lower their body temperature. This may include applying cool water to their body, using fans or air conditioning, and providing fluids under veterinary guidance.

What are First Aid Options You Can Do at Home? 

If you can safely do so, rinse your cat's mouth with cool, clean water using a syringe or a gentle stream from a faucet. This can help remove any potential irritants or toxins. Be careful not to force water down your cat's throat.

Inspect your cat's mouth and throat for any foreign objects that might be causing the foaming. Be very gentle and cautious while doing this to avoid getting bitten or injuring your cat further.

If you can see something stuck in your cat's mouth or throat and it's safe to do so, you can try to gently flush their mouth with a small amount of lukewarm water using a syringe or a turkey baster. Be very gentle to avoid pushing the object further down.

If you suspect your cat may have ingested something toxic, isolate it from other pets to prevent potential exposure to the same toxin.

Avoid trying to force your cat to drink or eat anything, as this can worsen the situation or cause choking.

Prevention of Foaming at the Mouth

Of course, if you have noticed that your cat is foaming, then it is obviously too late to prevent it.

However, knowing and taking steps to prevent it in advance is always better than treating it.

Therefore, there are steps you should take to prevent such symptoms from occurring in your pet.

1. Proper Nutrition

Provide your cat with a balanced and appropriate diet to meet their nutritional needs. Consider their age, breed and any potential health conditions when purchasing cat food and nutritional supplements.

Ideally, a cat's diet should contain approximately 30-45% protein. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Cats need certain essential amino acids in their diet, including taurine and arginine. These amino acids are essential for maintaining proper heart function and preventing certain health problems. Good quality animal protein contains the essential amino acids that cats need. Fat is a concentrated source of energy in the cat's diet and should make up about 15-25% of the cat's diet. It is important to note that cats have a higher requirement for animal protein and fat.

2. Dental Hygiene

Regularly brush your cat's teeth with a veterinarian-recommended toothbrush and toothpaste for cats. If your cat has a harder time cooperating with brushing, add dental powder to your cat's food on a daily basis to develop good dental hygiene habits. This helps prevent dental diseases and related problems that may cause foaming at the mouth.

brush your cat's teeth

3. Provide a Safe Environment

Ensure that your cat's environment is free from hazards, such as toxic plants, chemicals, or small objects that they could ingest. Keep potentially dangerous substances securely stored away.

4. Supervise Outdoor Time

If your cat goes outdoors, supervise their outdoor activities to prevent them from coming into contact with toxins, harmful plants, or dangerous substances. Consider creating a secure outdoor enclosure or providing supervised outdoor time on a harness and leash.


Do Cats Foam at the Mouth When Dying?

Foaming at the mouth is not a typical symptom of a cat nearing the end of its life. While cats may exhibit certain physical and behavioral changes as they approach the end of their lives, foaming at the mouth is not commonly associated with the natural dying process in cats.

However, it's important to note that various health conditions or emergencies can cause a cat to foam at the mouth, and some of these conditions may be serious or life-threatening. 

Do Cats Foam at the Mouth When Scared?

Foaming at the mouth is not a typical reaction for cats when they are scared. While cats may display various signs of fear or anxiety, such as hiding, hissing, growling, or exhibiting defensive behaviors, foaming at the mouth is not a common response to fear.

Do Cats Foam at the Mouth When Stressed?

Foaming at the mouth is not a typical response for cats experiencing stress. While stress can manifest in various ways in cats, such as changes in behavior, reduced appetite, increased vocalization, or avoidance behavior, foaming at the mouth is not a common symptom associated with stress.

If you notice your cat foaming at the mouth and suspect it may be related to stress, it is essential to consider other potential causes. Foaming at the mouth in cats can be a sign of various health issues, ingestion of toxic substances, dental problems, or adverse reactions to medications or treatments.

Why is My Cat Foaming at the Mouth After Eating?

If your cat is foaming at the mouth after eating, there could be several reasons for this behavior. 

  • Gum disease, oral infections, or tooth decay
  • Foreign objects stuck in their mouth
  • Have food allergies or sensitivities that can lead to an allergic reaction.
  • Ingestion of an irritant or toxin
  • Gastritis or reflux


Foaming at the mouth in cats can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from minor issues like excessive drooling to more severe problems like ingestion of toxic substances or underlying illnesses. It's essential to remain vigilant and consult with your veterinarian if you observe this symptom, as it can be a sign of an underlying health concern. Your veterinarian can diagnose the cause and provide appropriate treatment to ensure your cat's well-being. Remember, your cat's health is of utmost importance, so always seek professional guidance when in doubt.


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